2019 Spring Course Offerings

Note: TRS 097 and TRS 189 fulfill the "Theological Foundations" requirement of the Core Curriculum. All other TRS courses listed below except for TRS 129 and TRS 192 satisfy the "Theological Explorations" requirement. All upper-division TRS courses require either TRS 097 or TRS 189 as a prerequisite.


TRS 97: The Bible & Its Interpretation

Many sections are offered every term.

This course focuses on the Bible, the sacred scriptures of the Jewish and Christian peoples. These texts have had a profound influence on art, literature, philosophy, and politics for over two thousand years of history, particularly in the West. As such, an understanding of the Bible is essential for a well-informed perspective on the world. (Satisfies the "Theological Understanding" requirement of the Core Curriculum.) 


All courses below the above line (except TRS 189, which is for transfer students only) satisfy the "Theological Understanding" (Theological Explorations) requirement of the Core Curriculum. Prerequisite: TRS 97 or TRS 189.

TRS 111: The Pentateuch

M/W/F 8:00-9:05am, Brother Mark McVann

A study of the first five books of the Bible, the history of their composition, and their theological contributions to Judaism and Christianity. Prerequisite: TRS 97 or TRS 189.

TRS 114: The Gospel of Mark

M/W/F 10:30-11:35am, Brother Mark McVann

A close study of the Gospel of Mark, with an emphasis on its literary, historical, social, and political background. Prerequisite: TRS 97 or TRS 189. This course satisfies the Theological Understanding (Theological Explorations) requirement of the Core Curriculum.

TRS 117: Wealth & Poverty In the Bible

M/W/F 11:45am-12:50pm, Michael Barram

This course explores biblical and theological perspectives and values on wealth, poverty, and economic justice, focuing on implications thta those issues may have for the contemporary Christian community. 

TRS 120: Contemporary Theologies of God & Suffering

T/Th 3:00-4:35pm, Jessica Coblentz
T/Th 4:45-6:20pm, Jessica Coblentz

Following a historical introduction to perspectives on suffering from the Bible and its early Christian interpreters, the course will focus on the diverse Jewish and Christian theologies of God and suffering that have arisen since the Shoah. The course fulfills the Theological Explorations requirement.

TRS 121: Belief & Unbelief

M/W/F 10:30-11:35am, Paul Giurlanda

An investigation, theorectical and exitential, of the challenge of faith today with special attention to the "new atheists" and Christian responses to them. 

TRS 131: Christian Spirituality

M/W/F 11:45-12:50, Father Tom McElligott

Focuses especially on religious experience, the crucial element in Christian Spirituality, as exemplified in film. Students in this course must have time to watch each of the assigned films twice, as well as completing all other reading and writing assignments.

TRS 133: Life Stories & Theology

M/F 1:00pm-2:40pm, Brother Michael Avila

Uses narratives of exemplary lives, ancient and modern, Christian and non-Christian, as a tool to investigate the task of authentic existence today in the light of the gospel.

TRS 142: Medical Ethics

T/Th 8:00-9:35am, Tom Poundstone

This course explores the relation between religious and moral values and the choices we as individuals and as a society make about helath care: e.g., research on human subjects, reproductive technology, physician-assisted suicide, and proposals for health-care reform.

TRS 143: Catholic Social Teaching

T/Th 11:30-1:05pm, Tom Poundstone

Explores the Catholic approach to questions of social justice (e.g., the problems of poverty, exploitation, and racism). Also meets the Common Good and Community Engagement goals.

TRS 153: Eastern Religions

T/Th 8:00-9:35am, Norris Palmer
T/Th 9:45am-11:20am, Norris Palmer

Focuses on a number of religious traditions (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Parsi) within a wide variety of their historical and cultural settings, examining both individual traditions and the complex history of their interactions. (The couse also fulfills the "Global Perspectives" requirement of the Core Curriculum.)

TRS 161: Colonialism, Race, & Religion

T/Th 1:15-2:50pm, Joe Drexler-Dreis

In this course, we will question how colonialism, constructions of race, and religion worked together in the formation of the North Atlantic context out of which the United States emerged. In light of this analysis, we will then consider constructive responses.

TRS 169: Theory & Method in the Study of Religion

T/Th 11:30-1:05, Norris Palmer

This course focuses on the theories and methods - both classical and contemporary - that have been foundational to the development and practice of the academic study of religion.

TRS 170: Sustainability, Religion, & Spirituality

T/Th 4:45-6:20, Richard Carp

Since Lynn White’s groundbreaking article in 1967, debate has raged among scholars, activists, and members of religious communities about the role(s) of religion and of specific religions in fostering unsustainability and in achieving sustainability. As part of this debate, some have proposed the existence and importance of a spirituality unconnected with historical or new religions as a key component of moving toward sustainability. This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to these questions both in their historical and contemporary forms.

TRS 189: The Bible & Its Interpretation (transfer students)

T/Th 9:45-11:20am, Anne Carpenter
T/Th 11:30-1:05pm, Anne Carpenter

This course focuses on the Bible, the sacred scriptures of the Jewish and Christian peoples, texts that have had a profound influence on religion, art, politics, and culture for over two thousand years. (Reserved for transfer students with 16 or more units at time of entrance. The course fulfills the "Theological Foundations" requirement of the Core Curriculum, not the "Theological Explorations" requirement.)

TRS 192: Intensive Inquiry - Systemic Theology

T/Th 1:15-2:50pm, Anne Carpenter

This “intensive inquiry” course  focuses on a specific topic in systematic or constructive theology (per the professor’s decision), and studies how that topic takes shape in the present scholarly landscape. The goal is to study the topic with particular interest in teaching research and writing in the academic discipline of theology. Fulfills the Writing in the Discipline major requirement.



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